Cancel Culture Aims For. Dr. Seuss

The title says it all. There’s really not much more I could add to it except to say I’m more than tired of this trend of a few folks trying to rewrite or cancel history because it doesn’t comply with their vision of what is right and wrong. When will they learn values change and if we erase what happened in the past, we will repeat it? When will they open their eyes and realize they are this generation’s McCarthy damning the commies. Except, instead of “commies”, they condemn those who aren’t woke enough or liberal enough or whatever. They’ve toppled statues. They’ve demanded–and received–buildings and schools change names. Now they’ve come for Dr. Seuss. When do we finally say not just “enough is enough” but “this is too much”?

I’m hip deep putting the finishing touched on Jaguar Rising. So I’m going to just leave a series of links for you this morning, all relating to the Dr. Seuss story. Let’s discuss the topic and its implications on everything else that published more than 20 years ago. Tell us your thoughts about the books and if you think the move to quash the books is right or not–and support your claim. Keep the comments cordial. No hitting. Try not to veer too far into politics.

Biden Removes Mention of Dr. Seuss From Read Across America

Six Seuss Books Removed From Publication for Racist Images

VA School District Removes Emphasis on Seuss on Read Across America

Schools Should Rethink Dr. Seuss

Read Across America is Diversifying

The floor is now yours.

Featured Image by LysogSalt from Pixabay

25 comments

  1. Of course they must destroy Seuss.
    They are built on being the Sneetches with Stars upon Thars, and the only obnoxious moral in the books is the Lorax.

    More importantly, Seuss books sell very well– they’re a good, safe, reliable buy for kid books. You can’t reprogram kids if they have access to good stuff.

  2. Mulberry Street and If I Ran the Zoo are both unavailable online already. I’d never even heard of the other 4 books, so I doubt any of them have been in print lately. Sad, because I’d want to be sure to have copies for my grandkids.

  3. If I could draw, it would be ALL cartoons with “insensitive” imagery, in sheer revolted reaction to the censorship, and more to the stupidity presently passing for scholarship.

    There exists a ginormous book with Dr. Seuss’ full catalog of political cartoons. He wielded a very sharp skewer.

    1. I’ve heard that Theodore Geisel said he couldn’t draw, he just didn’t let that stop him.

      And, they’re ‘diversifying’ by banning books? The Newspeak is taking over!

      1. They’re diversifying from merely attacking books to banning them. Next step will be rewriting the history books to erase all trace of the books having ever existed at all.

    2. I don’t know if it’s *all* of them, but Dr. Seuss Goes To War is fascinating, and shows he was at least in some ways, ahead of many regarding race. For the parts where he wasn’t… well, there was War on, or one was very shortly.

      1. I checked out some of his stuff too, and it left me somewhat less outraged: I don’t know the context, but it looked like Seuss had no problem referring to “America First” as National Socialists or pals of National Socialists.

  4. In an ideal world, the Powers That Be [and Think they can teach] would just present kids with a huge spread of books, a book buffet if you prefer, and let the kids sample and decide what they like to read. Grownups take the fun out of everything. Ideally, this will backfire and kids will flock to “inappropriate” books like One Fish Two Fish, Little House on the Prairie, and Johnny Tremaine.

    No, correction, fanatics take the joy out of everything. One famously stated that there was no fun in [religion] and his regime did its best to ensure that. So the activists take the fun out of reading, and then wonder why kids hate reading and literacy rates are actually dropping. “Wokeness” is too serious to permit true differences of opinion and taste. *SIGH* It’s just another fundamentalism, a socio-political one.

    1. There were boxes of books. Old beginning science (pick one) books, joke books, Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, who know what all else. The only things noticeable by omission were the “Classics” and perhaps Twain had the right of that one. Wound up reading Twain later… after school turning me off of him. But there was TV broadcast of a version of Mysterious Stranger that ‘spoke’ to me and I was off to read almost everything NOT Finn, Sawyer, or on the Mississippi that I could find. Plowed through all (with those exceptions) the local library had. ILL took care of a bit more. And I know I have some terrible omissions all the same.

      Grandma? Lots of stuff.. including the entire series of Oz books. I wonder which Aunt (or further) wound up with them.

      Pa left his old textbooks where I could get at them.Self-taught a fair amount of chemistry by reading through one (and working most of the problems…) one summer. A year or three before the official class… which was easy, but.. kinda dull by then. The key was it was a *descriptive* chemistry text. It did NOT try to start with the Periodic Table of Elements. Instead, when it was introduced it was NOT a Big Scary Diagram but rather a Realization… “Oh, THAT makes so much sense!” It didn’t feel forced, but encountered. There is much for that.

      1. > Pa left his old textbooks where I could get at them.Self-taught a fair amount of chemistry by reading through one (and working most of the problems…) one summer.

        Old-school textbooks assumed you were learning a subject and told you what you needed to know. Modern textbooks deleted as much of that as possible, so it could be laboriously conferred (or not) by a credentialed “educator.”

        By the time I got to high school, the chemistry and math books were just pages of problems to be assigned as homework; there was almost nothing about *how* you were supposed to do that.

    2. In an ideal world, the Powers That Be [and Think they can teach] would just present kids with a huge spread of books, a book buffet if you prefer, and let the kids sample and decide what they like to read.

      That’s our theory– both at the library and at home.

      Which is why our eldest son is now reading both the Army wilderness survival manual and The Last Kids On Earth series, and his older sisters are devouring Cedar’s Children of Myth series, Hank the Cowdog, and the “Story of the World” history series.

      Cedar! If you happen to read this– the Duchess asked me to tell you, again, that she really likes the books. The Princess chirped she loves her dragon cherry magnet, too. (I know I told you last time, but she’s super impressed mommy knows someone who writes fun books, and I know you’ve been blue.)

    3. Growing up, I really enjoyed the fact that my parents had a wide range of books, plus would spend some money on our requests, plus of course the library (no comments on whether I spent too much time browsing the shelves in the college library instead of studying. Large open shelf libraries are a wondrous thing – and probably going disappearing….virtual is nice, but not the same). We didn’t have a TV, but my dad would read about a half hour a night, every night. And we’d listen to records, including classic radio shows.

      So I read fantasy, adventure, science fiction, history, philosophy, theology, computers, and more. One of my brothers was reading college chemistry and physics on his own in his teens. The other one designed his own computer (using an Intel 8080), built it, and programmed it in machine language. I still have my mom’s copy of the Handbook of Chemistry and Physics. I got into classics like Jane Austen after college.

      Right now, I’m mostly reading and re-reading lighter stuff (most recently, re-reading Dave Freer’s Changeling’s Island, which is awesome), since I need a break from the rest of my life 🙂 But I’m so glad I grow up then, not in the social media age.

  5. I’ll admit that Dr. Seuss was another of those authors that everyone liked that I didn’t. The cat in the hat was exactly the sort of bully I had nightmares about–the one that insisted all the torments he did were just part of the games, and if you were upset, that was your fault for being such a stick-in-the-mud that you couldn’t enjoy his alleged “fun.” So while I’m fully on the side of those who think Mr. Geisel’s books should continue to be available and the cancellers are worse bullies than even that stupid cat, it’s an abstract defense of free speech as opposed to a deeply personal, “Of course you know this means war.”

    The one thing I do wonder about is how many of the cancellers are picture book authors themselves. Is this about “protecting kids from random racism,” or is, “how dare those kids want to read those outdated works when I’ve just put out another edition of ‘Feminist Baby’*? Let’s get that stupid Dr. Seuss of the shelf, and then they’ll have no choice but to read the right stuff.”

    * = Work presented as an example only. I have seen no indication that the author of “Feminist Baby” in particular is one of those in the mob after Dr. Seuss.

    1. I was probably in the fifth grade before I ever *heard of* Dr. Seuss. I never saw any Disney movies. I never encountered any Mother Goose or Brothers Grimm. By the time I saw my first comic book I was already reading Norton and Simak and Heinlein, and didn’t have any use for “Daffy Duck” or “Archie and Jughead.”

  6. The worst was some leftie moron who was saying that it was only a few of Seuss’s books that are getting pulled and there were still 39 left. In other words, be grateful we’re not taking everything away from you yet, peons.

  7. Yeah, there is a reason for my “I identify as monster.”

    I value keeping my own counsel highly, and do not like making concessions to agreeing to consensus.

    Consensus is sometimes incorrect, and sometimes evil.

    Restricting speech to only conform to consensus is suspect.

    Folks who insist on doing so often have process flaws that can result in the opinion they are trying to push being as wickedly flawed as what they are trying to exclude. If things are even that much in their favor.

  8. It’s not about “racism,” nor any of the Left’s other swear words. It’s about control.

    Saint Ignatius Loyola said “Give me a child till he is seven years old, and I will make him what no man can unmake.” He was largely correct. The Left is aware of this, which is the reason they’ve striven so determinedly to control the primary education of American kids. Now that they’ve got that system locked down, the time has come for them to eliminate contrary messages and sources of guidance. That involves the suppression of traditional children’s literature, of Sunday schools, of parental involvement with their children, and — of course — of competing educational alternatives. Perhaps the easiest of these to suppress, given the Left’s presence in the public library system, is traditional children’s literature. That would make it the logical first target.

    Whenever you attempt to analyze the motives behind some Leftist initiative, think control first. You’ll seldom be wrong.

  9. Tonight they had a ‘noted educator’ on Hannity bloviating about the ‘racist messages’ in Dr. Seuss. Hannity and Leo 2.0 both missed the question I would have asked:

    “Which Seuss illustrations do you find racist? Hold one up to the camera so we can all see it, and tell us what’s racist about it.”

    I would expect either some sort of objection to ‘displaying such racist images’ or an excuse of not having access to one at the moment, to which I would say:

    “OK, then tell us which illustrations are racist. Book title and page number. No, don’t just repeat your vague accusations, identify the actual pictures you’re calling racist. Why won’t you name the books and page numbers? I know why. We all do. You don’t dare to identify any specific images, because then everybody could look and see for themselves that you’re lying to them.”

    Hell, most Seuss characters aren’t even HUMAN! They’re fish. Birds. Cats. Elephants. Critters that don’t even exist. What race is the Grinch, or the Whos? What minority group do the Sneetches belong to?

    That’s probably the problem. The Leftroids can’t fit Seuss characters into any of their Designated Victim Groups, so they have to be eliminated.

    1. Ome of the characters in And to Think That I saw It on Mulberry Street is Chinese, wearing a typicalish outfit and eating out of a bowl with chopsticks. And his eyes are narrow. He looks like a cartoon Chinese person, because he’s drawn in a cartoonish style, but apparently that’s not acceptable.

  10. I’m so tired of cancel culture. I’m tired of online mobs deciding that they are without sin and then casting the first stone. I’m tired of these people who will never ever leave me alone.

  11. Yet another reminder to build the home library. Get copies of anything you’d like to preserve for the future. You don’t have to tell the neighbors you’ve got 10,000 books in your finished basement. If you’ve got something that’s really seditious, store them in closed cupboards behind something else.

    The more home libraries there are, the more books will survive the coming dark ages.

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